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Promises delayed

The Israelites spent 400 years in Egypt.  They were invited to settle in Egypt to escape the famine in their own land.  At first they were honored guests but that status changed.

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 

Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.  (Exodus 1:8-11)

The people prayed to God for freedom from their bondage and God chose Moses to answer their prayers.

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”   (Exodus 3:7-10)
 

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Aaron’s rod

While the Israelites were in the wilderness some of them challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron to lead them.  God ended the dissent with a sign that showed whom he had chosen.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs.

Write each man’s name on his staff, and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house.

Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout.

Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you.”

Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. And Moses deposited the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the testimony.
Numbers 17:1-7

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